Japan’s Cabinet has adopted an economic plan that would allow more foreign workers as the rapidly aging country seeks to make up for its declining workforce.
Economic and fiscal policy minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in Tokyo on Friday that under the plan, Japan would relax visa requirements in sectors facing severe labor shortages such as nursing care, agriculture, construction and transport new categories it would start accepting in addition to highly skilled professionals.
The workers would be allowed to stay in the country for only up to five years as visitors, not as immigrants. They would not be allowed to be accompanied by family members. Motegi said, the plan is not a scheme to acquire cheap labor or a change to Japan’s immigration policy.
The number of foreign workers in Japan has nearly doubled over the past five years to 1.28 million last year.